7 Business Books You Should Definitely Read In 2018

Three months into 2018 and still don’t know which books to read? I’ve compiled a list of seven business books that are incredibly insightful and extremely beneficial for anyone, from a student to the CEO of a company. It’s a list containing some very recent releases as well as a couple of timeless classics which will definitely prove to be highly informative. Here’s the list, in no particular order of preference:

1. The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone – Brian Merchant

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone - Brian Merchant

We’re living in a technology-driven world. Or more aptly, we are living in a world where technology drives us. Smartphones, especially, satisfy our desires of connection, distraction and validation, all at once, which has made it one of the fastest and best-selling product in the history of products. One of the pioneers which gave birth to a generation of phone addicts is something that is probably within your reach right now- the iPhone. The lengths to which Apple went to in order to keep their iPhone project a secret were remarkable. Technology journalist Brian Merchant tells us the inside story of the device that changed everything in his latest book based on his interviews with the engineers, inventors and developers who were involved with every stage of the iPhone’s development.

2. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups – Daniel Coyle

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups - Daniel Coyle

The subtitle of the book, “The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups” pretty much describes what it’s all about. The Culture Code tells us about highly successful groups and how they have reached the position that they are at. Daniel Coyle includes stories from some of the world’s most successful organisations, from a wide spectrum of business, professional sports and other groups. It doesn’t matter what the size of your group or your goal is, this book teaches you principles of cultural chemistry that help transform individuals into teams that stick together and achieve together.

3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Dr Robert Cialdini

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Dr Robert Cialdini

This book talks about how a lot of human behaviour is instinctive and spontaneous, how we develop shortcuts to decision-making, and how these shortcuts can be used to influence others. An example of this is how we assume that if something is expensive then it’s of good quality. The best part of The Psychology of Persuasion is how easily readable it is. Drawing inferences from studies done in social psychology, Dr Robert Cialdini describes six principles of influence and how they can be used to persuade others.

The six principles are- 1. Reciprocity – If I do something for you then you must do what I ask of you. 2. Scarcity – If I can’t have it, I want it (as in retail ‘sales’). 3. Liking – If you like me then you are more likely to do what I ask of you. 4. Authority – If you look and act like somebody in authority then I will obey you. 5. Social proof – If we do not know what to do we look to other people. 6. Commitment/consistency – If I say something I will likely act in a way consistent with that commitment.

4. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – Cal Newport

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World - Cal Newport

Hard work? Smart work? No, it’s time for Deep Work. In this book, Cal Newport calls Deep Work a superpower in our increasingly distracted world. Instead of criticising and patronising the hyper-connectivity, he focusses on the power of the same. The first half of the book is filled with research and findings on how Deep Work can actually result in maximum productivity. The skill of Deep Work helps to learn even the most complicated things quickly. Using this effectively has proven to even lead deeper satisfaction with work. In the second half of the book, he pens down 4 rules that are essential to imbibe this skill.

The four rules are – 1. Work Deeply – D’uh. For ‘Deep Work’, you need to work deeply. Determine what is your philosophy as you need your own individual philosophy to integrate deep work in your professional life. 2. Embrace Boredom – If rule one is about how to integrate working deeply into your life, rule 2 is about significantly increasing the limit of working deeply. 3. Quit Social Media – This is not to say that social media does not have its advantages but the actual advantages can be quite less and redundant. 4. Drain the Shallows – The only way to work deeply is to do away with the shallow work and replace it with deep and meaningful work. Applying all of these strategies may not be for everyone but the skill of Deep Work and Flow is something that anyone can achieve.

5. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing – Daniel Pink

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing - Daniel Pink

The concept of “Perfect Timing” is somewhat controversial. Some people don’t believe there’s anything as such, that if something is good, it will work. However, there’s an actual science behind it and there has been quite some research about the same as well. This book provides insights from little-known scientific studies in an accessible way. The inferences come from research about the effect of the “time of day” on people’s thoughts and emotions, which began over a century ago, and which is being backed even more, now that social media platforms provide a wealth of data that can be analyzed.

6. The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win – Jeff Haden

The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win - Jeff Haden

This book is an interesting and very refreshing take on a topic of motivation, a subject, which has been twisted and turned over the years. Jeff Haden disproves the common beliefs, proving that success isn’t about enlightenment or a moment of inspiration, but about clear and well-defined processes you ought to follow. Although you shouldn’t think of this book as a divine revelation that will help you reach your dream, it definitely will help you start working on it. And if the conventional self-help guides have always disappointed you in terms of results, this book is a must-read that will help you to actually get off your couch and start working on your goals in a much more practical way than before.

7. Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals – Michael S. Hyatt

Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals - Michael S. Hyatt

The last, but not the least, on the list is the book by Michael Hyatt. The book explores the beliefs and setbacks that hold you back from achieving your greatest aspirations. It suggests a simple five-step process you can use to live the best version of your life. The five steps are deceptively simple: 1. Believe the possibility 2.Complete the past 3. Design your future 4. Find your ‘why’ 5. Make it happen. The book talks about the science of goal implementation to show us how anyone can get over a mindset which is limiting, coupled with a past filled with setbacks, to create and execute goals that will practically work. It is full of compelling, real-life stories of regular people who have achieved extraordinary results.

If you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to comment below!

Aamir Qazi

I am a final year BMS student at NM College of Commerce and Economics. I like to write obscure poetry and read existential philosophy.